Friends & Family Celebrate NSSA’s 25th Annual Dinner For Our Children

i Apr 19th No Comments by

Our April 1 Dinner Dance was no joke, as over 400 guests attended the annual fundraising event. Old and new friends helped celebrate the event’s 25th anniversary at Leonard’s Palazzo in Great Neck, NY.

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa dinner for our children long island autism school 4.1.17 4 resized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa dinner for our children long island autism school 4.1.17 6 resized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa dinner for our children long island autism school 4.1.17 14 resized

There was dancing….

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa dinner for our children long island autism school 4.1.17 2 resized

Games of chance with wonderful prizes.

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa dinner for our children long island autism school 4.1.17 3 resized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa dinner for our children long island autism school 4.1.17 13 resized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa dinner for our children long island autism school 4.1.17 12 resized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa dinner for our children long island autism school 4.1.17 10 resized

We celebrated two graduations from The Martin C. Barell School program into NSSA’s Adult Services program.

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa dinner for our children long island autism school 4.1.17 8 resized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa dinner for our children long island autism school 4.1.17 7 resized

Executive Director Nicole Weidenbaum and Event Chairperson Paul Raguso inspired generosity in the crowd and we were able to raise more money than ever before. Thank you to everyone!

nicoleandpaul collage

Overall, people just had a wonderful time celebrating NSSA and helping to support our programs and services.

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa dinner for our children long island autism school 4.1.17 5 resized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa dinner for our children long island autism school 4.1.17 1. resized

Thank you to all the amazing, hardworking people who brought this event to life, as well as our generous sponsors:

sponsors for blog

If you would like to receive an invitation to next year’s Dinner For Our Children, or any of our events, email dinnerdance@nssa.net.

Movin’ On Up: Jason Harris, College-bound

i Aug 12th No Comments by
nassau suffolk services for autism nssa long island autism school jason harris video 8.12.16 7 websized

Friends Chris, Jason and Alyssa

Jason Harris, long-time NSSA consultation student, made a touching presentation today at The Martin C. Barell School when he presented his new video “Jason Harris-Transitioning from High School” and officially ended his time with NSSA and announced his newest venture as a student at Vaughn College of Aeronautic Engineering, Aviation and Technology.

Jason’s friend Chris, an NSSA Adult Service client, began the presentation with a talk about some of his own experiences at NSSA.

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa long island autism school jason harris video 8.12.16 1 websized

NSSA’s Transition Coordinator Jacquie Frangoulis introduced Jason and congratulated him on all his hard work at achieving his goals.

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa long island autism school jason harris video 8.12.16 3 websized

After the video presentation Jason removed his NSSA ID card and replaced it with his new Vaughn College ID.

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa long island autism school jason harris video 8.12.16 6 websized

Students and staff congratulate Jason on his exciting new future.

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa long island autism school jason harris video 8.12.16 5 websized

Morgan Kauffman, who has known and worked with Jason for many years, was on-hand to celebrate with him as well.

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa long island autism school jason harris video 8.12.16 4 websized

Everyone at NSSA is so proud of Jason and excited to watch him take the next steps into his future – Congratulations, Jason!

And here is Jason’s story…..

NSSA Gets Crafty for the 4th of July

i Jun 28th 2 Comments by

15 blogsized

Lily Polishuk from Individualized Family Care returned to NSSA last week to lead both adult clients and Barell students in creative projects.

1 blogsized

2 blogsized

4 blogsized

5 blogsized

7 blogsized

8 blogsized

  10 blogsized

12 blogsized

11 blogsized

Adult Service clients created a red white and blue wreath out of clothespins just in time to decorate their homes for the 4th of July.

14 blogsized

13 blogsized

Clients painted and glued clothespins, sorted by color, and attached them to a metal frame.

Thanks, Lilly!

6 blogsized

I’ll Tumble for Ya!

i Jun 23rd 2 Comments by

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 21 blogsized

On Tuesday, June 21, Martin C. Barell’s Classroom 1 (and a buddy!), graduated from their 12-week class at Farmingdale Gymnastics Academy.

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 2 blogsized

They demonstrated all their exercises for family and friends – balance beam, tumbling, obstacle course, zipline, and trapeze.

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 3 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 4 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 5 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 6 blogsized

There were dazzling smiles everywhere as the boys flew, swung, and fell into the foam pit.

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 7 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 8 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 10 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 11 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 12 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 13 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 14 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 15 blogsized

Friendships were made…

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 1 blogsized

Everyone grouped around to be congratulated for their efforts and progress.

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 16 blogsized

Each gymnast received an award for their special strength:

Best Trampoline

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 17 blogsized

Best Flyer

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 18 blogsized

Best Somersault

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 19 blogsized

Best Trapeze

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 20 blogsized

Best Balance Beam

nassau suffolk services for autism nssa 6.21.16 21c blogsized

And Honorary Team Member J. received the award for Best Buddy!

JT 6.21

We’d like to thank Farmingdale Gymnastics Academy and especially coaches Serena and Lisa for their teaching skills and wonderful ways with our students.

Why Not Come Dancing

i Jun 9th 2 Comments by

nassau suffolk services for autism spring dance 4,1,16 37 blogsized

The wonderful students and staff of Smithtown High School East once again hosted a fun evening for NSSA students and clients on April 1, 2016.

They decorated the space and dressed according to a Luau theme and everyone had a great time dancing, snacking and limbo-ing.

nassau suffolk services for autism spring dance 4,1,16 11 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism spring dance 4,1,16 12 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism spring dance 4,1,16 7 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism spring dance 4,1,16 9 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism spring dance 4,1,16 14 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism spring dance 4,1,16 10 blogsized

The event is geared for students and clients aged 14 and up. Smithtown students encourage dancing and socializing. NSSA staff attends as well.

nassau suffolk services for autism spring dance 4,1,16 39 blogsized

DJ Matt Figuccio keeps the party lively playing favorite tunes.

Thanks again to Smithtown High School East for being such gracious hosts, we look forward to seeing you again soon!

A Special Night For Our Special Kids: Spring 2016

i Jun 6th No Comments by

nassau suffolk services for autism adventureland 4.26.16 4 blogsized

As part of its outreach to the greater autism community, NSSA hosts A Special Night for Our Special Kids twice yearly at Adventureland in Farmingdale. NSSA tries to hold the spring and autumn events during program breaks to give our guests with autism and their families something to look forward to when there are few structured activities available.

In spite of challenging weather, we welcomed families into the park this past April 25 for an evening of fun.

nassau suffolk services for autism adventureland 4.26.16 2 blogsized

nassau suffolk services for autism adventureland 4.26.16 6 blogsized

Many families with a child with autism find the prospect of attending an amusement park on a typical evening extremely daunting. Long lines and crowds can be especially challenging for these families. During NSSA’s events, Adventureland is closed to the general public and made available to people with autism and their friends and families. On these special evenings, the amusement park is at reduced capacity. The shorter waiting times for rides make it much easier for our friends with autism and more manageable for their families. Since the park is filled with people who understand autism, the atmosphere is very relaxed and caring. We hear over and over again that it is only during the NSSA events that many of these families would even consider going to an amusement park as a family.

nassau suffolk services for autism adventureland 4.26.16 1 blogsized

Our next Special Night for Our Special Kids at Adventureland will take place Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, 6:30-9:30pm. (Rain Date: Thursday, Sept. 22
6:30-9:30). We hope to see you there!

Commack High School Tennis Team Aces Autism Awareness

i Jun 2nd 2 Comments by

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 was a perfect day for Commack High School’s 5th Annual Student/Teacher Doubles Tournament fundraiser “Tennis for Autism”  to raise awareness of autism and NSSA.

Proceeds from the fundraiser were generously donated to NSSA.

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 3

Shane Helfner, President of the Suffolk County Tennis Coach’s Association, spearheads this event each year – we’re so fortunate to have such good friends and supporters in the community.

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 2IMG_5309

Family and friends, staff and students came out to support the event and players. There was such a genuine feeling of camaraderie among the tennis team and faculty players.

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 2IMG_5298

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 1IMG_5292

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 2IMG_5346

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 5

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 4

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 2IMG_5345

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 2IMG_5372

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 6

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1

Raffle prizes were announced near the end of the event and there were many happy winners.

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 2IMG_5403

Everyone who participated received a medal and the top four places in the tournament received trophies. But everyone involved in the event – from students and faculty, to Shane and parents – are winners as far as we’re concerned.

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 8

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 10

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 9

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services commack tennis fundraiser 6.1.16 11

Thank you Commack HS Boys Varsity Tennis Team, Commack High School faculty, and Shane Helfner for helping to raise awareness of autism and Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism.

Starry, Starry Night

i Apr 22nd No Comments by

NSSA’s Adult Services clients let their inner artists out when a painting teacher visited them earlier this week. Lilly Polishuk from Individualized Family Care  led the group in a rendition of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services painting class 4.18.16 11 resized

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services painting class 4.18.16 2 resized

The clients, aided by staff, followed the instructor-led step-by-step instructions to create individualized works of art.

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services painting class 4.18.16 1 resized

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services painting class 4.18.16 9 resized

Clients practiced direction following and imitation while exercising their self-expression.

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services painting class 4.18.16 8 resized

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services painting class 4.18.16 6 resized

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services painting class 4.18.16 5 resized

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services painting class 4.18.16 4 resized

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services painting class 4.18.16 3 resized

nssa nassau suffolk services for autism adults services painting class 4.18.16 10 resized

A finished product…and a proud client.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give – Winston Churchill

i Apr 19th No Comments by

This past Saturday, April 16, 2016, NSSA’s 24th Annual Dinner for Our Children was well-attended by people who give. People who give of themselves, people who give their time, energy and skills, people who give donations of money and prizes. We thank them all.

We thank Paul and Joann Raguso for once again chairing the event.

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (17) resized

We thank volunteers and staff for making the event run smoothly and seeing to it that people had an enjoyable evening.

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (18) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (19) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (21) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (22) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (23) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (31) resized

Thank you to guests who came and made the event into a really fun party!

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (83) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (77) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (74) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (72) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (41) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (38) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (33) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (29) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (28) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (7) resized

Thank you to donors and bidders and winners of our wonderful live auctions…

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (67) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (62) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (63) resized

Thank you to those who kept the casino hopping….

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (68) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (70) resized

…and the dance floor lively!

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (78) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (81) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (4) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (12) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (13) resized

We’re thankful for families and students we’ve come to know and love…and we congratulate them as they graduate from The Martin C. Barell school program into NSSA’s Adult Services program.

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (55) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (56) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (58) resized

nssa autism dinner dance 2016 1 (39) resized

And to everyone who played a part in making NSSA’s 24th Annual Dinner for Our Children a success, we thank you.